A Season of Songs, day three: You Have A Voice

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Ok, we’ve got a good one today – “You Have A Voice” from Drop Dead.  I believe this is from their first 7″.  I have it originally on the 11″ LP on Clearview Records that collected all of their early recordings – 38 songs on a 11″ record.  As far as I can remember, this is the only 11″ record i’ve ever seen.

You have a voice — Express your anger
You have a mind — Deny Their power
You have two eyes — know your enemy
You have one life — the choice is yours!

I don’t recall if I had ever actually heard Drop Dead prior to getting the record.  I believe we may have placed an order directly with Clearview.  At that time, Clearview seemed mostly to be putting out a mix of the early Drop Dead and Spazz material and then stuff like the Queers, Vindictives and Screeching Weasel.  A couple of my roomies at the time were super into that Queers/Vindictives/Screeching Weasel end of things (I mean, I liked that stuff, but they really were into it), so I believe my roommate Jamie was ordering a bunch of Vindictives records.  I may have ordered the Drop Dead purely on the fact that it was an 11″ record and based on the name.  No idea.

Whatever the reason, once I got the record, I loved it.  Short fuzzed out, powerful punches of hardcore/grindcore.  Angry, blunt, to the point lyrics leaning heavily on songs about vivisection, animal rights and racism (Example of bluntness – “Racist, Inbred, Force Fed, Fascist lies. Nazi, Skinhead, Ignorant, until he dies.”)  One does not really approach Drop Dead looking for variety.  There isn’t much in the way of experimentation.  These are just short, pissed off releases of energy meant to help maintain one’s sanity in a world full of “fuckin’ assholes” as they would say.

I first got to see Drop Dean in the late 90’s when they played the Peach Pitt (RIP) in Pittsburgh.  I remember being surprised that before the show they were eating pizza.  Here were these guys who I assumed were vegans based on the seriousness of their animal rights lyrics, but turns out they were just militant vegetarians, not militant vegans.  Go figure.

They would then come back through Pittsburgh some years later and play at the Roboto Project.  About halfway through their set, a local woman who seemed to be some combination of drunk/high roamed into the space and into the pit.  She got a bit jostled around but then the lead singer Bob put his arm around her and kinda protected her.  About 10 seconds later when the song was over she said to him “I don’t belong here” which spurred him to say (in his thick new england accent), “Of course you belong here.  We all belong here.” and then they busted into another song.  Amazing.

I would eventually invest in my own Drop Dead “Fucking Assholes Don’t Get It” t-shirt, the only swear t-shirt I’ve ever owned, I believe.  Not really appropriate for too many occasions, but definitely something I enjoy having in my collection.

Drop Dead still seem to play the occasional show.  Go check them out if you get the chance.

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